the plan of action. A carefully crafted
message can reduce anxiety. That message
must answer the following questions. Why
is change necessary? What will the new
organization look and act like? What role
does each employee play in achieving
success? The message should focus on the
future and change, not the past and blame.
•Involve employees. Give those affected
input in the process. The negative
repercussions of ignoring this aspect are
great. Employees are critical stakeholders
in the process. Their perspective can be
extremely valuable in determining what
will and will not work. There are many
ways to have meaningful participation,
including representation on important
•Create a timeline for implementation.
Be reasonable and, if possible, flexible
with what and when things are to be
completed. Take into consideration the
available resources, strategies to effectively
communicate with employees, and time
necessary to conduct the appropriate
training. Deadlines are there to ensure that
you maintain momentum. Know when to
keep the foot on the pedal and when to ease
off the gas. Don’t risk project failure for the
sake of meeting the deadline.
•Build in time for adequate training.
This alone can make or break a change
management process. A good training
process accomplishes two things. First, it
relieves the anxiety of those affected by the
change; anxiety comes from the fear of the
unknown. The other benefit is that training
ensures that all parties understand and can
implement the change.
• Provide options for those impacted
negatively by the change. Provide an avenue
for those who do not want to go along
with the changes, those who want to seek
another position, those who want to retire,
or those who want to seek reassignment.
• Establish measures for success. Make
sure that clear, quantifiable measures are
established for gauging success for the
change. Remember, you are not making
change for the sake of change. The goal for
undertaking a change strategy is to improve
the organizational performance, and that
improvement should be measurable.
• Celebrate the victories. Finally, celebrate
the success of change at every milestone, and
do that often. Rewards, even those that are
non-monetary in nature, mean a great deal.
There is great satisfaction in successfully
implementing a major change strategy.
While the risks are great, the rewards both
from an organizational and professional
standpoint are worth the effort.
Kenneth Gwyn, A.A.E., is the assistant director of aviation for the Dallas Airport System. He may be reached